Homeland accused of damaging relations between 'hostile' US and depicted countries
Iran, Lebanon and Venezuela have criticised 'poisonous' producers
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Monday 16 December 2013
While its audience may find Homeland’s plot twists and turns increasingly implausible, the award-winning drama is still sufficiently incendiary to damage relations between the US and Iran, according to a leading expert on the Middle East.
Fawaz Gerges, Emirates Chair of the Contemporary Middle East at the London School of Economics, told Hollywood news site The Wrap: “Homeland is poisonous to any attempt to bridge the divide between the two nations.”
The third series of the spy drama, which concluded on American screens on Sunday, focussed on a US plot to assassinate the chief of Iran’s Revolutionary Guard, and to install a CIA mole in his place.
“The portrayal of Iran and Iranians as terrorists, as violent, as scheming, really enforces Iranians’ images of the United States as a hostile nation, as a nation that cannot be trusted,” Gerges said. “It’s not only harmful and insidious, but it does basically create and really enforce hostilities between the people of the two nations.”
The Lebanese government is reportedly weighing the possibility of legal action against Homeland’s producers for the show’s skewed depiction of Beirut during its second series. Lebanon’s minister of tourism told the Associated Press that Homeland had misrepresented the city as a “hotbed of violence”.
Meanwhile, Venezuela has complained about the portrayal of Caracas in a recent episode, which featured a skyscraper-turned-slum known as the Tower of David.
Diplomatic relations between the US and Venezuela are strained, and neither country has had an ambassador in the other’s capital since 2010.
In a statement issued to Foreign Policy magazine, the Venezuelan government asked, “What reasons might there be for Venezuela to appear in a show so openly supported by President Obama, and backed by the CIA? Are they preparing the American people to feel justified in some aggression against our country…? Only time will tell.”
Of Homeland’s Iran-themed plot, Alexander Cary, a writer and executive producer of the show, recently told the Evening Standard: “In the first season we wrote about a terrorist hit on America and hoped we weren’t right. In the second, we wrote about whether or not Israel would bomb Iran, and we were still hoping we weren’t right.
"This third season we discussed changing the dynamic between Iran and the West, and we weren’t even hoping either way, because we thought it just wasn’t on the books.”
BBC Trust agrees to axe channel from TV in favour of digital moveTV
Final Top Gear reviewTV
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 2 Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
- 3 Saudi preacher who 'raped and tortured' his five -year-old daughter to death is released after paying 'blood money'
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Game of Thrones season 6: Daenerys actress Emilia Clarke says '50/50 chance' Jon Snow is alive
Chronixx interview: Reggae sensation on taking the opening spot at Glastonbury and calling Barack Obama a 'waste man'
Game of Thrones season 6: Director Jack Bender hints showrunners 'communicate closely' with George RR Martin
Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
Amy: Mark Ronson praises 'respectful' Amy Winehouse film as it scores the highest ever UK opening for a British documentary
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts